Archive for June, 2016

Cheap Christianity

Monday, June 27th, 2016

J.C. Ryle (1816 – 1900) said “There is a common, worldly kind of “Christianity” in this day, which many have – a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and requires no sacrifice – which costs nothing and is worth nothing.” 

It is shameful to say, but those words, written in the 1800’s, describe the vast majority of American churches today, in the 2000’s.  If the “church” looks like, acts like, and sounds like the unsaved world, there is no impetus for the unsaved to even consider Jesus or their sin. God has chosen his church to be the light and salt in this dark and rotting world.

What does it say about our Christianity if we don’t stand for the Word of God? God’s word is offensive to sin. The Law exposes sin; the Gospel rejects sin. We tend to cling onto our favorite sins. Therein lies the sacrifice – we are to sacrifice our sinful desires, sinful thoughts, sinful habits – because they are offensive to God. True Christianity is not cheap.  It costs us our sinful ways. It cost Jesus his life.

He died for our sins – it was the most He could do. I will live for Him – it’s the least I can do.


Serious Contemplation of Retirement is Hard Work

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

As my time draws closer to retirement, I am finding myself doing a lot more research than I had anticipated. With multiple sources of income, I had to make sure that some did not offset others. Some forms of income offset Social Security, some do not. Had to do some research. Some of the calculations are not explained well for Civil Service retirement. Gotta research. Then there is the whole issue of Healthcare. I qualify for VA, but Deb does not, so we will probably stick with TRICARE, which has been very good for us. But TRICARE FOR LIFE has a different set of rules and deductibles. More research. Then there is the Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP – which is sizable, but has significant restrictions on how you can use that money. More research. Add to these things the actual process of a Civil Service Retirement, which is the ultimate example of government bureaucracy with dozens of forms to wade through and decisions to be made. Lots more research. It’s a wonder anyone in federal service actually gets retired! No wonder there is a significant number of deaths shortly after retirement! By the time you retire, you are exhausted from the process. So please forgive me if I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything for a week after retirement, whenever that is. I’ll be in recovery.

Oh, and I wrote a new poem going through the process of retirement….